US Pig Vehicle Drivers Gain Exemption from Break Rule

11 June 2014, at 6:49am

US - The Department of Transportation has granted to truck drivers hauling livestock and poultry a one-year exemption from an hours-of-service rule that took effect on 1 July 2013.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), on behalf of a coalition of livestock and poultry organizations, requested the exemption.

The regulation requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute rest break after eight hours of service. For drivers transporting livestock and poultry, the hours of service included loading and unloading animals.

NPPC President Howard Hill, a veterinarian and pork producer from Cambridge, Iowa, said: “This is an important development for the food-animal industry, particularly the pork industry. Pigs don’t sweat, so we can’t have them sitting on a truck for 30 minutes in the height of summer.

“We recognise the need for our drivers to be safe on the road, and we’re pleased that D.O.T recognised that the rule presented an animal welfare issue for us.” added Dr Hill.

He thanked Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, for recognising the importance of the issue for livestock farmers and Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, for his efforts to secure the exemption.